Below is an account of Gypsum & Plaster of Paris from the Kansas Cyclopedia 1912 giving a history of the product with regard to Kansas. Plaster was used long before this period but it is important to the history and development of the product here in the United States. In fact, history tells us that it came into use in Paris, France in the 1700's, which is where the term Plaster of Paris comes from.
Gypsum was first discovered in Kansas by Thomas C. Palmer, who settled in Marshall county in 1857. Noticing that some rocks he had used about his camp fire had burned to lime, he used the product to "chink" his cabin. Subsequent investigation disclosed the fact that the rocks were gypsum. The following year Gen. F. J. Marshall burned some of the same kind of lime and plastered a house at Marysville. In 1872 Judge Coon and his brother began the manufacture of plaster-of-paris with a five barrel kettle at Blue Rapids, and three years later a stone mill was erected, which was conducted for about twelve years. In 1887 two companies were organized at Blue Rapids for the manufacture of cement plaster, and one was organized at Hope, Dickinson county. A mill established at Salina in 1889 furnished the plaster for the buildings of the Columbian exposition at Chicago in 1893. This brought Kansas gypsum to the notice of builders, and in 1898 the American Cement Plaster company was organized at Lawrence. Factories have since been established at Burns, Marion county; Kansas City, Mo.; and Wymore, Neb., all of which use large quantities of gypsum from the Kansas deposits. The United States Gypsum company, with offices in Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, Minn., and San Francisco, manufacture a gypsum hollow tile for fireproofing, which has found favor with the architects of the country, and it is certain that the next few years will witness a great development of the Kansas gypsum fields.
Pages 799-800 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.